Health and safety of all Australians remains our priority for second transfer

Number: A007/2020

Relevant: Christmas Island

Topic: Health and safety of all Australians remains our priority for second transfer

Date: 05 February 2020

The Australian Government has facilitated the departure of an additional 35 Australians from Wuhan on New Zealand's (NZ) assisted departure flight, which departed early this morning.

The Australians on this flight will be quarantined at Christmas Island (CI). This transfer process involves a number of stops and will take some time.

Protective arrangements for their arrival at CI are in place, in line with those implemented for the first transfer. The AUSMAT, or Australian Medical Assistance Team, will receive the incoming evacuees from the NZ flight and they will not enter the airport terminal before their transfer to the North West Point facility.

The Australian Government wants to particularly acknowledge the excellent work of the CI airport staff from Toll and CI Removals who facilitated the safe transfer of passengers the other night, and thanks them and the broader CI community for their support of fellow Australians in need.

The Australian Government's first priority is the health and safety of all Australians, including the CI community. All of those repatriated will undertake health screening before arriving on CI, and will be completely separated from the CI community during their period of quarantine. Those quarantined will not be moving around the island or accessing any services—including health services—used by CI residents or visitors.

The community should be assured that infection control measures being implemented on CI exceed best practice clinical requirements and specialist medical teams are in place to provide support to those in quarantine if required.

All evacuees to Australia have been examined, and there were no confirmed cases of coronavirus in the cohort. As the Government has previously stated, two evacuees are being tested as a precaution but the advice from AUSMAT is that the probability of coronavirus is minimal. Monitoring of the entire cohort is ongoing by the expert medical staff.

The Australian Government is exploring options for assisting other Australians wishing to leave China.

The Australian Border Force has a dedicated liaison team to support communication between the CI community and Government agencies assisting this effort.

Enquiries can be directed to

Fact sheets and information about the novel coronavirus and quarantine arrangements are available on the Australian Government Department of Health's website

These have been translated into both Chinese and Malay and have been made available to the Christmas Island community including hard copies placed at all public buildings including the airport, recreation centre, and post office, and a range of shops including supermarkets and the pharmacy.

Further updates will be provided to the community when the transfer process is concluded. We will continue to provide you with regular information on the Government response.

Mrs Natasha Griggs
Administrator of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands